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Filtration: The 10 x volume in litres/gallons per hour rule


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Apologies if this is in the wrong place or has already been answered elsewhere, I’m a total newb and still figuring out how everything works here. I did a decent search and couldn’t find the kind of details and advice I’m after. The article on Canister Filters was fantastic, but there are so many variables it left me feeling uncertain :( . So any advice / information would be greatly appreciated!

I’ve just come across the 10 x volume in litres/gallons per hour rule, and realised I am drastically under filtered!

I have a 450 litre (118 gallon) tank and an Eheim Classic 2217 Canister filter (1000 litres or 264 gallons per hour).

I understand that canisters have lots of space for media (large surface area for beneficial bacteria!) and therefore some suggest that for canisters 4 – 6 x volume in litres/gallons per hour is ok. But even according to these much lower guidelines I am way under filtered, which is a worry.

My cycle is stable with my current setup, Ammonia and Nitrite are always zero, and my nitrate level was always around 10ppm when I was doing 10% weekly water changes. Now that I am doing 50% weekly water changes my Nitrate is always < 5ppm, closer to 1 than 5.

Is this because my fish are quite small and there are only 4 of them? Will the filter get less effective as they get bigger? Do I need to add more filtration asap or do these parameters suggest the current set up is managing the current bioload?

I’m looking in to getting at least 1 additional canister in the near future, but I’m also worried about the strong current that would create in the tank. Even with my current set up, I have filter floss over half of my spray bar because otherwise it really whooshes the water around (this is a little unsightly, if anyone has a prettier solution I would love to hear about it!). To get 4x tank volume in litres per hour I would need at least 4 canister filters of this model. The current in the tank would be so strong!

Any suggestions of the best way to proceed, and what to do while I make arrangements for a more optimal filtration system? (aside from regular water tests and changes)

I would love to hear about your successful filtration systems, to what extent they comply with ‘the rules’, particularly from those experienced goldfish keepers with big, happy and healthy goldfish!

I really want to provide my fish with optimal conditions so that they can thrive, so any advice and info is more than welcome! :D

Edited by Linzi Glitter
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My spraybar was the same way. What I did to cut down the current from the bar was drill out the holes so they were about 5 times as large as the original holes. This lets the water out of the spray bar with much less pressure since it is no longer forced through the tiny holes.

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I would definitely look to increase the filtration a little bit, because it will only be helpful, AND it will become necessary, as the fish get bigger. Instead of another canister, you can also get a hang-on-back (HOB) filter.

As for the current, it doesn't seem like you have that much current, based on the current set up. I have a 100 gallon (378L), and for that tank, I have 4 filters. One filter does 500 gallons per hour, 2 do 300 gph each, and the last does 303 gph. I also have a rather powerful air pump pushing three air wands/bars. Yet, there isn't an issue with strong currents in my tank.

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My spraybar was the same way. What I did to cut down the current from the bar was drill out the holes so they were about 5 times as large as the original holes. This lets the water out of the spray bar with much less pressure since it is no longer forced through the tiny holes.

Thanks, cheap and easy solution, I might give this a go!

I would definitely look to increase the filtration a little bit, because it will only be helpful, AND it will become necessary, as the fish get bigger. Instead of another canister, you can also get a hang-on-back (HOB) filter.

As for the current, it doesn't seem like you have that much current, based on the current set up. I have a 100 gallon (378L), and for that tank, I have 4 filters. One filter does 500 gallons per hour, 2 do 300 gph each, and the last does 303 gph. I also have a rather powerful air pump pushing three air wands/bars. Yet, there isn't an issue with strong currents in my tank.

Yes I forgot there are also good HOBs, do they pump a lot of water per hour? I have only seen the really small flimsy looking ones that come with kits. Are yours all HOB or a mixture? Maybe I'm too much of a worry wart about the current! :blush:

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My spraybar was the same way. What I did to cut down the current from the bar was drill out the holes so they were about 5 times as large as the original holes. This lets the water out of the spray bar with much less pressure since it is no longer forced through the tiny holes.

Thanks, cheap and easy solution, I might give this a go!

I would definitely look to increase the filtration a little bit, because it will only be helpful, AND it will become necessary, as the fish get bigger. Instead of another canister, you can also get a hang-on-back (HOB) filter.

As for the current, it doesn't seem like you have that much current, based on the current set up. I have a 100 gallon (378L), and for that tank, I have 4 filters. One filter does 500 gallons per hour, 2 do 300 gph each, and the last does 303 gph. I also have a rather powerful air pump pushing three air wands/bars. Yet, there isn't an issue with strong currents in my tank.

Yes I forgot there are also good HOBs, do they pump a lot of water per hour? I have only seen the really small flimsy looking ones that come with kits. Are yours all HOB or a mixture? Maybe I'm too much of a worry wart about the current! :blush:

There are very good HOB filters. :). I like the Aquaclears. :). (Can you get AC? I faintly remember it being a problem I think?) I'm sure there are plenty of other good ones too!

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My spraybar was the same way. What I did to cut down the current from the bar was drill out the holes so they were about 5 times as large as the original holes. This lets the water out of the spray bar with much less pressure since it is no longer forced through the tiny holes.

Thanks, cheap and easy solution, I might give this a go!

I would definitely look to increase the filtration a little bit, because it will only be helpful, AND it will become necessary, as the fish get bigger. Instead of another canister, you can also get a hang-on-back (HOB) filter.

As for the current, it doesn't seem like you have that much current, based on the current set up. I have a 100 gallon (378L), and for that tank, I have 4 filters. One filter does 500 gallons per hour, 2 do 300 gph each, and the last does 303 gph. I also have a rather powerful air pump pushing three air wands/bars. Yet, there isn't an issue with strong currents in my tank.

Yes I forgot there are also good HOBs, do they pump a lot of water per hour? I have only seen the really small flimsy looking ones that come with kits. Are yours all HOB or a mixture? Maybe I'm too much of a worry wart about the current! :blush:

There are very good HOB filters. :). I like the Aquaclears. :). (Can you get AC? I faintly remember it being a problem I think?) I'm sure there are plenty of other good ones too!

I've found it easy and reasonably priced get things online from overseas when they aren't widely available here, will check it out!

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Just bought another big canister second hand from another Aussie Koko's person! Love this place :heart Happy fish ahoy!

I think I will go for a HOB when I next add more filtration, they also save space in your stand :)

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If you do go for a hob,... like Mikey had suggested....AquaClears are great. The biggest is an AC110 which is 500gph. A ton of room to store media for which it comes with. Just don't use the carbon for it's not necessary for goldfish. Do however hang onto it if for some reason you might need it down the road. (clean up water/get rid of meds in tank)

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The canister you're buying off of me filters 2200LPH so it will definitely cover a lot. 3000LPH on a 450L tank should be plenty considering they polish the water very well.

Aquaclear filters are great!

Edited by Narny105
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